Various theories surround cause of Ince Inebolu explosion

Bulk carrier Ince Inebolu (IMO 9254472) was towed into Jazan, southwest Saudi Arabia, during the evening of May 13th after suffering an explosion. Ince Inebolu was carrying wheat to Yemen’s Houthi-controlled port of Saleef, and the cause of the explosion has been a matter of dispute and conjecture.

Broadly, the Saudi-led coalition are saying that the explosion was internal to the ship as a result of an as-yet unexplained explosion, while the Houthi forces are asserting that the vessel was attacked by the Saudi-led coalition.

A naval ship of the Saudi-led coalition received a call from the captain of Ince Inebolu who reported that an opening had appeared in the middle of the ship on the port side.

The Saudi coalition forces visited the ship and found an explosion which photographs indicate was from the inside to the outside. Additional small holes with edges pointing outwards were also visible in the weather deck.

The captain said he did not know the cause of the damage.

The ship was anchored about 70 miles off Saleef, just north of the port of Hodeidah on the Red Sea, when the incident occurred. The ship was in a waiting area where vessels typically anchor for permission to dock.

The matter has been referred to UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism, which was established two years ago to ease delivery of commercial goods through the blockade.

2002-built, Turkey-flagged, 30,011 gt Ince Inebolu is owned and managed by Ince Denizcilik Ve Ticaret AS of Istanbul, Turkey. It is entered with London P&I Club on behalf of Ince Denizcilik Ve Ticaret AS.